Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's time Makua Mutua let it go.

Prof Makau Mutua's animus for the new President and Deputy President continues unabated (Is there too much Ruto at President Kenyatta's side? Sunday Nation, April, 14, 2013.) Mr Mutua, in the guise of analysing the chances of success or failure in the UhuRuto partnership, reads mischief in the apparently close contact between the principals of Kenya's fourth administration. This author will not deny the scale of Mr Ruto's ambition; it has been plain to see ever since he joined active politics as one of President Moi's ardent foot-soldiers in the 1990s. This author will also not deny that the glue that holds the two together is their shared experience of being indictees of the International Criminal Court. But this author would find it very unusual that the two would not be seen together in the first months of their administration; before the machinery of their administration begins to work with precision, the two must be seen together in order to cement in the minds of Kenyans that theirs is a partnership that will run the full course.

For instance, the President and Deputy President agreed on a fifty-fifty split of the Cabinet and Principal Secretaries' slots in their administration. Were they simply carrying on from a previous administration, the issue could be sorted out via e-mail, or as they joked on the campaign trail, Skype, they being the Digital Generation. But surely, even Mr Mutua must admit that that is not how politics is done. The two must, necessarily, meet and be seen to be meeting, when agreeing on who will and who won't be in the senior ranks of their fledgling administration. They must also, necessarily, be seen to be presenting a united front in their initial dealings with Parliament. The ramblings among Members of the National Assembly regarding the niggardliness of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission presents them with a political problem that must be solved quickly. Any hint that either may be peeled away from the other and convinced as to the wisdom of raising the MPs' salaries will spell doom for their economic and financial plans for the public service and the nation at large.

Mr Mutua is on record as rejecting the Uhuru Kenyatta presidency. Why, then, is he so keen to offer unsolicited advice to the duo? Would it not, perhaps, be better of the partnership was riven with discord from the very beginning in order to ensure that it is so strong at the next general election? Perhaps, despite his animus for the new administration, Mr Mutua does want them to succeed. It is what any patriot would want regardless of their personal feelings or political convictions. After all, if the UhuRuto administration is successful, then the nation advances that much closer to economic Shangri-La for the masses.

This author believes, albeit without any proof whatsoever, that the seemingly close contact between the President and Deputy President will lessen when their administration functions like a well-oiled machine, or as close to it as they can get it. Both will be too busy to be seen holding hands all the time. For sure, every now and then, political capital will have to be raised by shows of solidarity between the two very different men, but it will not be the leitmotif of their administration. Kusema na Kutenda was their campaign slogan; it will only be true once they get down to the serious business of governing and it will only be demonstrated when both spend more time getting things done than shows of political bromance.

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